Quranic Guide to Etiquette with the Elect Prophet ﷺ

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Quranic Guide to Etiquette with The Elect Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

Muhammad Zahid Attari

(5th year student of Markazi Jamia-tul-Madina, Faizan-e-Madina, Faisalabad)

The greatness and eminence of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is most elevated indeed. Allah Almighty addresses several prophets in His Book, calling them by their names using the second person vocative. For example, He says, “O Nūh,” and “O Mūsā.” However, when addressing the Beloved Messenger, our master Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, He does not call him by name on any occasion, choosing instead to address him by his titles. For example, “Dear Wrapped One!” and “Dear Prophet.” In this, there is a subtle lesson about the etiquettes in relation to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Drawing on the Quran, we are sharing the essential manners that we observe when talking about the final Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

1. Speak in a respectful tone:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا  الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَرۡفَعُوۡۤا اَصۡوَاتَکُمۡ  فَوۡقَ صَوۡتِ النَّبِیِّ

“O believers! Do not raise your voices higher than the voice of this conveyor of the unseen (i.e., the Beloved Prophet Muhammad).”[1]

In this blessed verse, Allah Almighty teaches the Muslims an etiquette of the Prophetic Court, which is that when you speak before him, you must not raise your voice above his. Rather, you must speak in a quiet tone.[2]

2. Address him politely:

لَا تَجۡعَلُوۡا دُعَآءَ الرَّسُوۡلِ بَیۡنَکُمۡ کَدُعَآءِ  بَعۡضِکُمۡ  بَعۡضًا ؕ

 “˹O people! Do not make the calling of the Messenger amongst yourselves just like one calls the other amongst yourselves. [3]

Here, the directive is to ensure that we address the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in a way that befits him, with humility and reverence, not as we address each other.[4]

3. Do not say ʿinā (راعنا):

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا رَاعِنَا وَ قُوۡلُوا انۡظُرۡنَا

“O believers! Do not say (to the Prophet Muhammad), 'Raa'ina,' and submit as so; 'Unzurna (meaning that please grant us your attention so that we understand well)[5]

During the Beloved Prophet’s sermons, the noble Companions عَـلَيْهِمُ الرِّضْوَانْ would say “رَاعِنَا, but the Jews would use this word in a disparaging manner. Therefore, Allah Almighty commanded the Companions to say “اُنْظُرْنَا” instead of “رَاعِنَا” so that no doubt of any disrespect remained.[6]

4. Visiting the Prophetic Court to seek forgiveness:

وَ لَوۡ اَنَّہُمۡ اِذۡ ظَّلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ جَآءُوۡکَ فَاسۡتَغۡفَرُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اسۡتَغۡفَرَ لَہُمُ الرَّسُوۡلُ لَوَجَدُوا اللّٰہَ تَوَّابًا  رَّحِیۡمًا (۶۴)

“And if when they (the people) do injustice to their own souls ˹by committing sins˺, they should come to your august court, ˹dear Beloved˺, and then seek forgiveness from Allah, and the Messenger intercedes for them; they would therefore definitely find Allah the Greatest Acceptor of repentance, the Most Merciful.”[7]  

The Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states:

Humanity has been commanded to go to the court of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and repent and seek forgiveness. Although Allah Almighty hears all and sees every place, He gave the command that if you seek repentance, then present yourself before My Beloved.[8]

5. Do not go ahead of Allah’s Messenger:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا  تُقَدِّمُوۡا بَیۡنَ یَدَیِ  اللّٰہِ  وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ

“O believers! Do not advance yourselves before ˹the command of˺ Allah and His Messenger.”[9]

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه comments:

This command is all inclusive, i.e., it is forbidden to go ahead of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in any matter, in speech or action. If you are travelling in the company of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, it is forbidden to go ahead of him; if you are eating with him, it is not permissible to start before him; likewise, it is unlawful to give priority to your own intellect or opinion over that of the Beloved Prophet.[10]

There are many verses besides these which mention the etiquettes of the Prophetic Court. We make du’a to Allah Almighty that He allows us to visit the Court of the Chosen One whilst abiding by the requisite manners. اٰمین

[1] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 26, Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 2)

[2] Sirat al-Jinan, vol. 9, p. 397

[3] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 18, Surah Al-Noor, verse 63)

[4] Sirat al-Jinan, vol. 6, p. 675

[5] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 1, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 104)

[6] Al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, verse 104, vol. 1, p. 634

[7] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 5, Surah Al-Nisa, verse 64)

[8] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 15, p. 654

[9] [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 26, Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 1)

[10] Shan-e-Habib al-Rahman, p. 224




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